Police officer shot, critically wounded in Colorado Springs; suspect identified

Posted at 5:01 AM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-03 10:27:58-04

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police in Colorado Springs say there has been no change in the condition of an officer who was shot in the head early Thursday morning while responding to a disturbance involving gunfire.

Officer Cem Duzel remains in critical condition at Memorial Hospital as of Friday at 8 a.m. 

In a tweet Thursday night, the department said Duzel's parents arrived in Colorado Springs mid-afternoon.

Duzel, a five-year veteran of the department, had responded to the area near N. Union Boulevard and E. Boulder Avenue after dispatch received multiple calls about gunfire.

"I freaked out, because it was so close and I knew it wasn't fireworks," said Logan Jewell, a tenant at the True North Motel.

As other officers began to arrive, the suspect produced a handgun and shots were exchanged between the suspect and police.

Duzel was allegedly shot in the head.

Suspect background

The suspect, who was injured during the return of gunfire, has been identified as 31-year-old Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi.

Al Khammasi has a previous criminal record in both El Paso and Teller Counties.

He was arrested in 2013 and charged with extortion, menacing, harassment and trespassing.

The first three counts were dismissed. He pleaded guilty to trespassing and was sentenced to 18 months in the Department of Corrections and two years probation.

In 2017, he was arrested for assault and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 60 days in jail and 12 months probation.

He has also been cited for driving under restraint and escape in 2017. Those charges were dismissed by a district attorney.

'Extremely difficult year'

Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey told Denver7 that 2018 has been an "extremely difficult year with law enforcement officers being hurt or killed, in particular in our region."

In February, El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick was killed during a confrontation with an auto theft suspect. Four other people, among them a police officer, were injured.

Carey asked the public to keep Duzel, his family and the Colorado Springs Police Department in their thoughts and prayers. Al Khammasi' injuries are not considered life-threatening. 

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident. 

If you'd like to donate to help the officer or his family, the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association (CSPPA) has set up its Fallen Officer Relief Fund. You can call 719-634-0058, mail a donation or stop by the offices at 516 N. Tejon Street in Colorado Springs. 

Donations will be used to defray expenses associated with helping Duzel and his family, the police department said in a Facebook post Thursday evening.